Iacobo Magnae Britanniae, Franciae et Hiberniae Regi valedicens (1604-1605?)

This is Craig's last known poem, and was written at some point between between 1604 (when Craig was present at Westminster for the opening discussions of the Union Commission) and his return to Scotland (he was named as a member of the Lords of Session and as an advocate for the church in 1605, where he was appointed to defend one of the ministers who participated in the General Assembly held at Aberdeen in July of that year without royal consent: see John W. Cairns, 'Craig, Thomas (1538?-1608)', ODNB). It is, appropriately, a poetic 'farewell' to James (who he never saw again) and to the Muses, and like lines 516-531 of the Stephanophoria (d1_CraT_004), it expresses good wishes for the future successes of James' children. For a brief discussion of the text, see Tyler, An Account of the Life and Writings of Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton, pp. 283-285. Metre: elegiac couplets.

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IACOBO Magnae Britanniae, Franciae et Hiberniae Regi valedicens

1Dulcis amor populi, patriae lux unica, Regum
optime, post oculis nuncquam adeunde meis,
vive, vale, te cingat honos, te gloria obumbret,
dum Pylii vincas saecula lenta senis. 1
5Vivat et illa tuae conjunx pars altera vitae,
et tua fœlici taedia prole levet; 2
et veri exemplum semper maneatis amoris,
parque Dionaeo nobile conjugio.
Quique modo in patriam surgit non degener hastam 3
10Henricus, solo nunc genitore minor,
quique refert patrem tam certo Carolus ore,
Carolus aetatis gloria rara suae:
vivat uterque precor, dum famam terminet astris, 4
et meritis superet solis utramque domum. 5
15Quaeque refert matrem formae superantis honore,
sorte thori matri par sit Elisa suae.
Gratulor ipse mihi me hoc demum tempore natum,
quo potui numeris te cecinisse meis.
Et mihi adhuc vitae tempus quodcunque peractum est,
20ingenium genio serviet omne tuo.
Ast ego per dubios vitaeque viaeque labores
iam repeto patrii tristia tecta soli.
Triste solum sine sole, suo sine principe cernam,
nunc verum a Graeco nomine nomen habes, 6
25aeternum domini vultu cariturus amœno,
hoc peperit vitae sors mihi dura meae.
Hic itaque et steriles Musas, et carmina pono,
carmina post calamo non repetenda meo.
Vive, vale, interea et mali per mœnia mundi
30fortuna, virtus te, famulante, vehat.
Vive, vale, et nuncquam meritorum fama senescat.
32Ah oculis posthac nuncquam adeunde meis!

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A farewell to James, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland

Dear beloved of your people, peerless light of your fatherland, greatest of kings, nevermore to pass before my eyes, live long! farewell! and may you be wreathed in honour and cloaked in glory, as you surpass the extended age of Pylos' old man. a May that wife of yours, the other part of your life, live long too, and may she, with your blessed family, lessen your weariness; and may you both remain the exemplars of true love, a noble match in Aphrodite's union. And Henry, who already rises in prominence like his father, is now only bettered by his parent; and Charles, who bears the clear aspect of his father upon his face, is the peerless glory of his own age. I pray that both live long, until each marks out their fame among the stars, and overwhelms the sun's rising and setting places with their merits. And may Elizabeth, who bears the aspect of her mother in the glory of her outstanding beauty, may she match her mother in the fortune of her marriage. I myself am only thankful that I was born at this time, when I have been able to sing about you in my verses. And whatever time is still left to me will serve your every inclination according to my abilities. But now I again turn back, through the unpredictable travails of life and the road, to the sad houses of our native soil. I will see a land gloomy without its sun, without its prince: now it truly takes its name from the Greek, as it will be without the delightful face of its lord for ever - the bitter fortune of my life has given rise to this for me. So here I lay aside the profitless Muses, and poems - poems that nevermore will be visited by my pen. Live long! farewell! and may virtue, with fortune as your servant, bear you across the walls of the great universe. Live long! farewell! and may the fame of your merits never grow old for you, alas, who will nevermore pass before my eyes.



1: The Pylian old man is Nestor, the proverbial long-lived old man. Similar sentiments (outstripping or equaling Nestor) are found at: Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.838, and Statius, Silvae V.3.255.

2: This couplet is reused verbatim by Austrian court poet Johnann Karl Newen Von Newenstein in 1737: Genethliacon, lines 95-6.

3: More evidence of the strong convergence of Thomas Craig and George Buchanan's poetic style and diction. Craig uses a version of this phrase in his 1566 poem on the birth of James: d1_CraT_001, line 295. Buchanan uses an almost identical phrase at: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.24. Buchanan also uses a similar phrase in his own poem on James' birth in 1566. The ultimate inspiration for both authors is surely Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.314. This supposition is also supported by Adam King's reworking of the final two lines of Buchanan's Genethliacon at d2_KinA_006, line 118. King's poetic borrowings from Buchanan (and indeed Latin poetry in general) are often accompanied by a knowing poetic allusion to what King believes to be his intertext's own inspiration. See d2_KinA_001, lines 9-20 especially, but passim. King also uses the phrase in relation to Henry.

4: Virgil, Aeneid I.291

5: Ovid, Heroides IX.16

6: 'habet'? Unless Craig is speaking directly to Scotland - unlikely given the lack of a vocative in the next line. The sentiment of the line relies on a pun for the Greek for 'gloomy/dark': 'skotios'; so 'Scotia' is thus literally ('verum') the dark land. Craig develops this pun in the next line with a characteristic astronomical allusion that makes Scotland a land in permanent darkness without the sun.


a: See note to Latin text.